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By Dana M. English
Hockey season is upon us, which means the Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the hunt for another Stanley Cup. Luckily for area students, this also marks the return of the GNC Student Rush program, which offers high school and college students tickets to hockey games at a discounted rate.
Chippewas Antonio Brown 27 Maroon Jersey College This year’s student rate is $30, and tickets are going fast.
Many student hockey fans feel the program provides access to a luxury that the average college student doesn’t have the budget for, especially during the 2016 and 2017 championship seasons when tickets were in even higher demand.
Chippewas Antonio Brown 27 Maroon Jersey College “If it weren’t for [the Student Rush program], I wouldn’t have been able to be at like any games during those two Cup seasons, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. That’s like being part of Pittsburgh history right there,” says Danielle Forkosh, a recent University of Pittsburgh graduate.
Although more than 500 home games at the PPG Paints Arena have sold out in recent seasons, the organization reserves several hundred tickets for students, demonstrating a commitment to young hockey fans. The Student Rush program has existed for more than 20 years and has helped to build up the current Penguins fanbase.
“A good number of our current season ticket holders started attending Penguins games through the Student Rush program when they were in high school or college,” says James Santilli, senior vice president of marketing for the Penguins. “It is very important for us to continue to build our connection with the young people of our region.”
Santilli adds that students bring additional energy to what he calls the already electric atmosphere inside the arena during games.
Each game day, a limited supply of discounted tickets are made available via a dedicated link at 10 a.m. To receive access to the purchase link, students may sign up for the GNC Student Rush Mobile Alert Club by texting RUSH to 32623. Texts will include information on ticket availability as tickets are released throughout the day, as well as opportunities to win free tickets.
In order to win a set of free home game tickets, Student Rush Mobile Alert Club members will receive a text alert requiring the recipient to respond with a special code word specific to that game. One participant will be selected from those who respond to receive the winning tickets.
A student’s odds of scoring discounted tickets, though, are much higher because they are released periodically throughout the day.
Those who have purchased or won tickets may then pick them up prior to the game from the GNC Student Rush window located in the Dick’s Sporting Goods box office at the arena.
For alternative ways to get tickets and exclusive giveaways, GNC has also introduced the Student Rush Squad to several GNC campus locations across Pittsburgh. For additional information on the Student Rush program, Rush Squad locations or upcoming ticket availability, visit www.nhl.com/penguins/tickets/student-rush.